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Southern Company River Scout

Discus

Discus

(Symphysodon aequifasciatus)

The discus is a member of the cichlid family. It is found in the Amazon River basin in lakes, deep puddles, small rivers and streams.

The discus acquired its name from the shape of its body which is strongly compressed laterally and nearly circular. The colors and patterns on its body are striking and varied. Background colors range from shades of brown to orange to blue.

The male and female form breeding pairs that work together to clear a nesting site on the bottom. The female then passes over the nest several times releasing eggs with the male following closely to fertilize them.

Come see the discus in its own exhibit in the River Scout gallery.

Fun Facts

  • Discus coloration is influenced by what it is fed. Those that are fed brine shrimp take on a reddish or pink color.
  • Both parents protect the nest and take turns fanning with their pectoral fins to circulate oxygenated water over the eggs. The eggs will hatch in 48 to 60 hours.
  • Many colorful hybrids have been produced for the aquarium trade but there are only three recognized color variations in the wild.
  • The eyes of the discus are often deep red in color.
  • Download full fact sheet

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